By Innocent Orok
The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col Hameed Ali, apprehensive of the backslash of increase smuggling activities at the Seme border due to the newly launched Nigeria-Benin Customs Connectivity portal , has called on Customs of both countries to increase their anti-smuggling feats to arrest those who may want to abuse the new deal.
Ali said this yesterday during the official launch of Nigeria-Benin Customs Connectivity for a seamless border transactions among the two Countries.
The Nigeria Customs boss alongside the Director General of the Benin Republic Customs Sacca Boco Innousa Charles said the new system has set a clean process between both countries for seamless and profitable business dealings.
They called on maximum cooperation from stakeholders from both Countries, especially importers and exporters by submitting correct documentations, as the system will not accept fake or false declarations or documentations.
The new system according to the Customs helmsmen will eliminate fraud, stolen items, increase security checks and generate maximum revenue for both Countries among other benefits.
During the demonstration of the transaction process, a team of officers from both sides, showcase a practical performance. When an import document is keyed into the system in Nigeria, the same document will trigger in the system on the Benin Republic side, showing all the features, the item, quantity, value, code etc and vise versa.
Ali who was elated of this new feat achieve by his administration said this is the first time in Africa such connectivity between two countries, especially among an English and French speaking Countries.
“This is the first time in Africa for a French and English speaking Countries to come together to manage their businesses together. Today, we have demonstrated the business partnership by launching this connectivity. This will address the issues of security and other negative vices”.Ali said.
He said the the next phase of the interconnectivity is the Idiroko border, after which it will move to Gaba and Jibya border respectively.
The Nigeria-Benin connectivity project is embarked upon by both
countries to increase their bilateral trade transactions in a seamless border operations that will curb trade infractions and fraudulent activities by importers and exporters.
The connectivity platform for both countries is manage by Webb Fontaine.